Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Hai Yun (駭雲, Shock Cloud/Mushroom Cloud)
  • Qiu Anxiong
    born 1972
    born: Chengdu, China
  • Hai Yun (駭雲, Shock Cloud/Mushroom Cloud), 2008
  • Xin Shanhai Jing 新山海经 (New Book of Mountains and Seas)
  • Where object was made: China
  • woodcut
  • Paper Type: rice paper
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 420 x 500 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 16 1/2 x 19 5/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 497 x 577 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 19 9/16 x 22 11/16 in
    Mat Dimensions: 32 x 24 in
  • Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2009.0111.08
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia", 11-Nov-2016
This print portfolio suggests a traditional Chinese book, but depicts the fantastical creatures featured in chapter one of Qiu Anxiong’s video trilogy The New Book of Mountains and Seas. Each of the bizarre creatures is accompanied by an inscription using archaic terminology and composed in classical Chinese that simulates the Shanhai Jing, a second-century geographic text describing strange creatures in distant lands, upon which the name of the video trilogy is derived.
Shock Cloud/Mushroom Cloud (駭雲, Hai Yun)
To the west of Yinzhou [a reference to Japan], there is a black cloud of extreme height that reaches 10,000 ren high [an old Chinese measurement, roughly six feet]. Its shape is similar to the shen [a sea monster of ancient China]. The place it once covered was full of scorched earth upon which no thing lived. When it does appear, the entire world becomes chaotic. Its name is Hai Yun [Shock Cloud/Mushroom Cloud], and it is also called Hei Shen [Black Monster].

Exhibition Label:
"Qiu Anxiong: New Book of Mountains and Seas," Feb-2010, Kris Ercums
West of the Isle of Ying [victory] there are tall black clouds as high as the lengths of 10,000 swords that are in the shape of a sea serpent. The areas it covers resemble war zones, and never host life again. The world below it is chaos, and it is called Hai Yun, “the Cloud of Shock,” or Hei Sheng “the Sound of Darkness.”